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Professional Communication Program.jpg

Corporate and Public Communication Program

Program faculty

Laurie Lawrence, PhD
Holley A-111-K

Brian Parker, PhD
Program Coordinator
Holley A-111-M
(850) 770-2295

Abigail Reed, PhD
Holley A-tba
(850) 770-tba

Nicholas Sellers, PhD
Holley A-tba
(850) 770-tba

Program Description

The College of Applied Studies offers a terminal Master's degree for graduate students currently employed in or seeking professional positions emphasizing public affairs, public information, and public issues management within business, government, not-for-profit organizations, or educational institutions. By the conclusion of the master's program, students will be competent in select areas of organizational communication. Students may also combine the bachelor program in Professional Communication with the graduate degree.

The goals of the CPC program include:

  • Preparing students for professional careers within business, government, not-for-profit organizations or educational institutions
  • Providing students with experience in making formal communication presentations
  • Helping students develop quantitative and qualitative skills in organizational communication contexts and
  • Equipping students with basic knowledge of communication theories with particular emphasis on those that apply to corporate and public affairs, public information, and issue management

The skills to be developed include:

  • The ability to successfully plan and implement marketing, advertising or public relations campaigns
  • The ability to successfully resolve conflicts
  • The ability to successfully manage individuals and crises
  • The ability to find in any case the available means of persuasion
  • The ability to analyze the content of various messages
  • The ability to perform computer-mediated, social scientific communication research

Admission Requirements:

To be considered for admission a student must have attained a GPA (Grade Point Average) of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 system) on all work attempted while registered as an upper-division student working toward a baccalaureate degree or a combined verbal and quantitative score of at least 285 on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE). Students may be admitted from a field closely allied to Communication. Such students, however, may need to complete extra course work to make up deficiencies.

School Requirements:

All supporting documents must be uploaded to the university online admissions application.

  • University application for admission to a graduate program at Florida State University. Must apply online.
  • Pay application fee. (Graduate students may pay online).
  • One official transcript from all colleges attended
  • Official GRE scores. When registering for the GRE, you must select a location code to send the scores.  This code is 5219.
  • GRE Waiver
  • An applicant statement addressing the following questions:
  • Why have you chosen to apply to our master's program?
  • What are your short and long-term career goals? What do you plan to be doing in five years and in ten years?
  • What experiences and competencies make you a strong candidate for our program (internships, work experience, computer literacy, awards, etc.)?
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • A resume or curriculum vitae
  • A writing sample
  • Program of Study Worksheet (pdf)

Degree Requirements

This program requires a minimum of thirty-three (33) hours of course work plus a comprehensive exam.  It is possible to complete the program in as few as two years if some course work is completed during summer sessions. The program requires students to take:

  • Six (6) hours of course work in Theory and Principles,
  • Six (6) hours of course work in Research and Methods,
  • Nine (9) hours of course work in Applications,
  • Twelve (12) additional hours of approved Communication and outside courses (no more than 2 classes outside of the Communication major may be taken)
  • A Comprehensive Examination

Students must complete a minimum of thirty-three (33) course hours, of which students must complete 30 hours of graduate-level coursework (5000 level and above). Twenty-seven (27) hours must be letter-graded.

Students who have completed insufficient course work in Communication at the undergraduate level (e.g. students who did not major in a communication-related area) may be required to take up to nine additional hours of letter-graded undergraduate course work as determined by their graduate advisors. Note: These additional hours will not count toward completion of the thirty-three (33) graduate-level semester hours.

Theory and Principles (6 credits 5000 level or above)


  • COM 5409 (3) Burke & Communication Theory

And at least one of the following:

  • COM 6403r (3) Advanced Problems: Integrated Marketing Communication
  • MMC 5600 (3) Mass Communication Theory and Effects
  • SPC 5545 (3) Studies in Persuasion

Research and Methods (6 credits 5000 level or above)


  • COM 5127 (3) Assessing Organizational Communication*
  • COM 5316 (3) Statistical Methods in Communication Research*

Applications (9 credits 5000 level or above)


  • COM 5526 (3) Marketing Communication Management
  • SPC 5442 (3) Group Dynamics and Leadership

And at least one of the following:

  • SPC 6920 (3) Colloquium: Training and Consulting
  • COM 5469 (3) Communication Planning & Dispute Resolution


  • COM 5127 Assessing Organizational Com REQUIRED
  • MMC 5600 Mass Communication Theory & Effects (ODD YEARS—Either this or SPC 5545 REQUIRED)
  • SPC 5545 Persuasion (EVEN YEARS—Either this or MMC 5600 REQUIRED)
  • SPC 5442 Group Dynamics & Leadership REQUIRED


  • COM 5526 Marketing Com Management (EXCEPT S16) REQUIRED
  • COM 5126 Organizational Communication Theory and Practice (S16) REQUIRED
  • COM 5316 Statistical Methods in Communication Research REQUIRED
  • COM 5469 Communication Planning and Dispute Resolution (EVEN YRS) This, SPC 6920, or ADV 5503 REQ.
  • SPC 6920 Colloquium in Speech Communication: Training and Consult (ODD YRS) This, COM 5469, or ADV 5503 REQ.


  • COM 5409 Burke & Communication Theory. REQUIRED
  • RTV 5423 New Communication Technology: Theory & Research OPTIONAL

Combined BS/MS Professional Communication Program

Courses taken for undergraduate credit do not count toward a graduate degree, unless the courses are in Communication at the 5000 level or above and are taken after being accepted into the BS/MS program. (There is no blanket approval to substitute courses. Any course substitutions must be approved by all members of your committee BEFORE substituting).

Comprehensive Exam (0 CREDITS)

COM 8966c Master’s Comprehensive Examination*
*Students enrolled in this program will be required to pass a comprehensive examination covering course work and assigned readings

Students registered for zero semester hour graduate level courses and additional courses will not be charged for the zero credit hour course. When registering for a zero credit hour course only, the student will be charged for one semester hour at the Florida Resident tuition-rate of the course level.

Total Minimum credit hour requirements 33

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